Ranking of the Triple J Hottest 100 winners

Another year, another Triple J Hottest 100, this time thirty-third if you’re counting. Well, technically it’s the 30th – the poll was originally a vote for best songs of all time before the youth channel realized there would be too many repeat offenders after three years. In 1993, after a year’s hiatus to explore options, Triple J changed the poll to reflect listeners’ favorite 100 songs from the previous year.

It’s been a bumpy ride since, with some winners truly marrying a cultural moment with artistic excellence, while others have left us fearful for the future of a country plagued by young people with terrible taste (though it’s worth noting that Triple J struggled to hold on to his Gen Z listeners, most of whom are now finding new music through Spotify and TikTok). Meanwhile, Triple J’s decision in 2019 to move the poll from Jan. 26 to the last weekend of January was largely seen as overdue and sensible.

Last year’s Hottest 100 winner, The Wiggles’ cover of Tame Impala elephantwas an odd choice, but we attribute it to the temporary madness spurred by the second year of pandemic lockdowns in 2021. Triple J’s most-played artists over the last year included a slew of mediocre anonymous bands (and station favourites) alongside slightly more interesting Top 10 recordings on Stand Atlantic and Wet Leg.

As we pray for a winner to be memorable for all the right reasons in 2023, here’s a look back at all of the Hottest 100’s past winners, ranked from worst to best – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

31 heat wavesGlass Animals (2020)

Another mild dose of algorithmically-focused psych-pop from the mysteriously popular British band. Shame on you all who allowed this to happen.

30 little lion man, Mumford and Sons (2009)

Absolutely the worst top 10 we’ve had yet, topped by this banjo-driven, globally-loved, Grammy-winning Tosh. There were much better contenders in Phoenix, Florence and the Machine, and Bag Raiders.

A warm night and a warm sound.

A warm night and a warm sound.Credit:Rick Clifford

29 sex on fire, Kings of Leon (2008)

Triple M listeners seemed to have infiltrated the poll in 2008, unfortunately for the infinite preference electrical feeling by MGMT, walking on a dream by Empire of the Sun and The Presets This boy is in love.

28th. cotrustOcean Alley (2018)

A lovely song by Sydney psych rockers, who ranked it 100th out of four entries in 2018, a lean year for groundbreaking music.

27 big jet, Angus and Julia Stone (2010)

Not a favorite of mine, but the voting public’s favorite this year, beating Little Red’s charm rock it and Dance how I feel at the tragically unfortunate Ou Est Le swimming pool.

26 knights of cydonia, Muse (2007)

A pitchfork The reviewer described this song as something that “begs to be taken down on a stretcher and sprayed with liquid novocaine like a theatrical Italian midfielder.” I wouldn’t go quite that far, but would say it’s one of the least deserving winners in Countdown history.

25 Wish you well Bernhard Fanning (2005)

The love for Powderfinger runs deep among Triple J listeners, but Gorillaz won the year with theirs days of demons album and should have beaten Bernard Fanning with his lead single, fun company.

24 Tires, The Rubens (2015)

Not a terrible song, but a real jaw-dropper considering it beats two excellent Tame Impala songs,

Courtney Barnett and The Weeknd.

One Crowded Hour by Augie March is certainly a catchy tune.

One Crowded Hour by Augie March is certainly a catchy tune.

23 one crowded hour, Augie March (2006)

Voters really calmed down in 2006, filling the top spots with wistful ballads like this one by Australian indie band Augie March alongside Eskimo Joe Black fingernails, red wine and the killers when you were young. Gnarls Barkleys Crazy (#6) felt like a bigger moment.

22 stunning, Alex Lloyd (2001)

Local acts like Alex Lloyd dominated the top 10 at the time, but it’s number eight that should have won the poll this year — Since I left you by The Avalanches.

21 Thrift shop, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis with Wanz (2012)

The video is kind of cute and the song is catchy enough but I’m not sure if it would win today. A white rapper using a black genre to blow up the fashionable bombast of black rappers is a little on the nose in 2023.

20 Elephant, The Wiggles (2021)

There’s something endearingly silly about the cover of The Wiggles by Tame Impala elephantbut voters should have instead backed Kid Laroi, the 18-year-old Australian rapper who made a pop banger with Justin Bieber.

Tame Impala's Elephant's Wiggles cover for Like A Version by Triple J took first place.

Tame Impala’s Elephant’s Wiggles cover for Like A Version by Triple J took first place.Credit:ABC

19 spring tide, Vance Joy (2013)

The Hottest 100 Voters love a soggy folk ballad, and while that song might be a distant cousin of Mumford and Sons Little lion man, it’s not nearly as offensive. Lordes kings was better though, as were a few tracks on Daft Punk’s Random Access Memory.

18 Asshole, Denis Leary (1993)

Curiously, Denis Leary’s scornful portrayal of Central America was more popular in Australia than anywhere else, and while we all happily sang along – “ASSHOLE, everyone!” – we can think of a few other deserving winners, including Radiohead’s To sneakThe Cranberries’ linger and Rage Against the Machine kill in the name.

17 will you be my girl Ray (2003)

This song was all over Australia and well beyond in 2003, but it certainly wasn’t bigger than No.3, Seven Nations Army by The White Stripes and No.2, Hey you! by OutKast, one of the greatest pop songs of all time.

Do you remember Jet?

Do you remember Jet?Credit:Penny Stephens

16 talking is cheap Chet Faker (2014)

Chet Faker has three songs in the top 10 this year, including #1 with his title track Talking is cheap Album. It shows how big Faker was back then, especially at Triple J.

fifteen. take me out Franz Ferdinand (2004)

Massive song by Scottish indie rockers Franz Ferdinand, although The Killers’ someone told me and Mr Brightside must have had more staying power.

14 Pretty bow tie for a white man The Offspring (1998)

After a few years of strong polls, punk rockers The Offspring finally won with their most poppy song yet. Disrespect has proven to be an enduringly popular topic over the years.

13 + 12 Nowadays; My luck, Powder Fingers (1999, 2000)

This Aussie band was so popular in the late ’90s that they topped the poll two years in a row (still the only act to do so) and also took third place in 2000 My kind of scene.

In 2016, Flume performed

In 2016, Flume performed “Never Be Like You” with Kai on stage.Credit:Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

11. never be like you Flume with Quay (2016)

In a big year for Australian music, Flume reigned at the top, marking electronic music’s first win in polling history and signaling a shift in voters from rock to dance fare.

10 Nobody knows, Queens of the Stone Age (2002)

Rock was the real winner this year: Dave Grohl had 10 tracks in the poll, Queens of the Stone Age and Silverchair each got five spots, and Grinspoon and Red Hot Chili Peppers also did strongly.

9. no aphrodisiac, The Whitlams (1997)

Gough Whitlam announced the winner in 1997, a band naming themselves after the former Prime Minister and his wife, beating out stiff competition from Blur, The Verve and Chumbawamba.

8th. buy me a pony Spider Bait (1996)

Just four years after the poll’s modern incarnation, an Australian band scored the hottest song of the year with their inescapable rock jam, beating Bush’s glycerin and Breathe by The Prodigy.

Kendrick Lamar performs at the Glastonbury Festival.

Kendrick Lamar performs at the Glastonbury Festival.Credit:AP

7. Modest, Kendrick Lamar (2017)

It was just 28 years before Australian voters gave the grand prize to a non-white artist – the brilliant Kendrick Lamar Modestalso the first hip hop song to top the poll (second if you count thrift shop).

6. bad guy, Billie Eilish (2019)

Praise be to us – we finally have a female solo winner (and the youngest winner ever) to score five tracks on the countdown and rightfully smash the competition.

5. someone i used to know Gotye with Kimbra (2011)

Carried by a unique melody and excellent vocals by Gotye and Kimbra, this art-pop classic was in a league of its own in 2011.

Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan.

Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan.Credit:AP

4. Zombie, The Cranberries (1994)

The late Cranberries’ frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan wrote zombie while he was furious over an IRA bombing that killed two children in 1993. It became the band’s biggest hit and a worthy poll winner in a field that also included Silverchair morning and The Offsprings Self-esteem.

3.wall of wonders, Oasis (1995)

Oasis Beat Grunge (Smashing Pumpkins’ Ball with butterfly wings, no. 2) and hip hop (Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise, no. 3) 1995 with her timeless ballad miracle wall. Britpop had really taken off and Australian voters were wholeheartedly on board.

2. Smells like Teen Spirit, Nirvana (1991)

It had only been released a few months earlier, but Nirvana’s quintessential grunge anthem was earth-shattering enough to take the absolute number one spot in 1991. The poll then paused for a year before restarting in 1993 to celebrate the top 100 songs of the past year.

1. Love will Tear Us Apart, Joy Division (1989, 1990)

For its first three years, the Hottest 100 was a pick for the greatest 100 songs of all time, and Joy Division took the top prize two years in a row with their post-punk classic nearly a decade after its release.

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https://www.smh.com.au/culture/music/cast-your-vote-what-song-is-the-best-hottest-100-winner-20230124-p5cf43.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_culture Ranking of the Triple J Hottest 100 winners

Jaclyn Diaz

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